Star Wars Rebels: Twilight of the Apprentice, Parts I & II
March 31, 2016 6:44 AM - Season 2, Episode 19 - Subscribe

The Rebels Season Two finale calls upon the myth and lore of The Clone Wars and Knights of the Old Republic as our Jedi, Ahsoka, Kanan, and Ezra, venture to the forbidden planet of Malachor in search of knowledge to defeat the Empire's dreaded Inquisitors.

  • The conversation between Ahsoka and Rex at the start of the episode mirrors their first ever conversation in The Clone Wars.
  • Surprisingly, it was the script for this episode which established the naming conventions for the Inquisitors with the Eighth Brother, previously the other Inquisitors were simply referenced as Male and Female.
  • The patterns on the base of the Malachor Sith temple were designed by Ralph McQuarrie and were also seen in the Lothal Jedi Temple.
  • Dave Filoni heavily drew upon mythological depictions of the internal underworld to delineate specific levels of descent.
  • The petrified bodies that line the battlefield of Malachor were inspired by the impressions of figures from Pompeii.
  • The Kylo Ren-like lightsaber is referenced as an "ancient claymore lightsaber" and as the Visual Dictionary of The Force Awakens stated, is ancient in design, going back to the Great Scourge of Malachor.
  • The Eighth Brother Inquisitor is a Terrelian Jango Jumper, a species first seen in The Clone Wars.
  • For purposes of animating the moment better, the decision was made to give Anakin an eyebrow after Vader's helmet was damaged - unlike his appearance in Return of the Jedi.
  • An earlier script had Maul and Vader fighting each other in the second act, but it was ultimately scrapped when it was deemed superfluous.
  • Another change from the earlier script was the 'infernal machine' of the Sith Temple actually firing its weapon, instead of being stopped by the removal of the holocron.
  • In the unfinished "Crystal Crisis on Utapau" arc from The Clone Wars, which featured a giant kyber crystal, Yoda mentions ancient Sith super weapons powered by such crystals. The Sith temple's 'infernal machine' represents a rare intact one.
  • The original script had Maul saying, "Palpatine brought me here when I was a boy. My Master had long studied the ancient dark arts, he sought out relics, and locations like this."
posted by Atreides (22 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
This was hands down the best Star Wars anything I've seen since ESB. I spent the whole last 10 minutes with either tears in my eyes, my hands on my face, the hair on the back of my neck standing up, or all three at one point. They even managed to slip in a great joke and get a laugh out of me. And I never watched Clone Wars, so it's not like I'm emotionally invested in Ahsoka or anything. They hit it out of the park with this episode.
posted by ob1quixote at 7:11 AM on March 31, 2016 [3 favorites]

No body.
She's still alive, right?

The original script had Maul saying "He should have been me" about Vader, which I think was missing.

I suspect Kanan's permanently blind now, given Ezra is so Jedi they don't need two.
And, I think the end confirms Kanan/Hera.

The ESB callbacks got a little tiresome, but it was a solid 40 minutes of TV, even with the lame Maul reveal.
And the MaryPoppinssabres.

I gather S3 starts later this year. I'm ready.
posted by Mezentian at 7:14 AM on March 31, 2016

And the MaryPoppinssabres.

Those were probably my biggest griefs with the episode to be honest. I don't even want to think about the potential physics of it all.

The link from ob1quixote is definitely worth a read for your most definitive answers to questions. The Rebel Retcon was kind of sparse, though it did have that Maul quote which was fascinating. I could see that being connected to the larger Maul vs Vader element of the original script. It's too bad the two didn't meet up, but with Maul returning, that could obviously still happen.

I watched the finale on my tablet last night and only when I turned it on my 42" tv this morning was I really able to see and appreciate Ahsoka's figure descending into the darkness. I was completely sure she was going to die given everything being fed to us by Filoni and what not, so I was on an emotional cliff watching the final duel...and then I kind of had the equivalent sensation of being clonked on the head and told, "Whether Ahsoka lives or dies isn't the most important thing here, just her decision to remain." I'm still kind of mixed because the ending, as is, essentially puts us back into the very same place we were when The Clone Wars ended - what is the fate of Ahsoka Tano?
posted by Atreides at 8:06 AM on March 31, 2016

That was very satisfying, and I'll echo ob1quixote's sentiment that this is among the best of Star Wars anything I've had the pleasure to watch. It definitely ranks with or above the best of TCW. I've read other complaints about pacing, but I felt that the episode(s) built at a steady pace to a frenetic finish. So, so good. I'm not sorry to see the Inquisitors go: they always seemed almost comically inept rather than menacing or malevolent. The helicoptering was the last straw for me.

My favorite quote: "Two Jedi, and ... a part-timer."

My take from that last shot of Kanan is that he combined an eye bandage (or wrap) with the ear coverings from the Jedi Templar helmet. It actually called to mind the implant thing that Lando's flunky wore in ESB. It seemed to me, also, that Ezra's eyes had turned a distinct shade of purple when he finally opened the Sith holocron.

Can't wait for Season 3!
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 8:08 AM on March 31, 2016

I weirdly liked maul... and I don't like him. I never liked him in clone wars and I was all kinds of bored with the idea of bringing him back-again and yet I felt like he really worked here. He was funny and menacing and actually a threat. I liked that his dialog was written so that he was always telling the "truth" but in a deeply misleading way. He killed one too few inquisitors for my taste but still.


Ha! This great phrase is both hilarious and deepening my hate for the visual effect. Just give them jet packs or something, yeesh.

I really wanted Vader v Tano to finish on screen. I'm fine with her surviving but I thought they got cute with it. Especially with Maul being in the episode, a walking reminder of the fact that death not very explicitly on screen means you're not dead. I felt a bit let down by that.
posted by French Fry at 9:36 AM on March 31, 2016

What was really amusing (in a good way) was how Maul essentially played the Anti-Yoda to Ezra at first. I'll have to re-watch for the quotes, but there are a couple of times where they purposefully played on things Yoda said to Luke and twisted them. We also have an old force master with a cane/stick, too and an initial deception.

I'm mixed on Maul, myself. He was a decent villain for Phantom Menace and then in The Clone Wars we had Maul 2.0 in the horribly named Savage Oppress, who then got outshined by th return of Maul 3.0, but that Maul was kind of crazy - which made this Maul (4.0) kind of distractingly sane. I got what they were going for with Blind Kanan and Maul, but I don't think the execution was quite as fluid as I would have liked. I need to watch it again to really absorb everything, tho'.


Inquisitors Downed Scorecard
  1. Grand Inquisitor - Kanan Jarrus
  2. Seventh Sister - Darth Maul
  3. Fifth Brother - Ahsoka Tano
  4. Eighth Brother - Kanan Jarrus (sorta)

posted by Atreides at 11:55 AM on March 31, 2016

I'll need to re-watch, I thought Maul took out 5th brother as well.
posted by French Fry at 12:21 PM on March 31, 2016

No need to re-watch (besides the obvious reason to re-watch), I just jumped to the scene and Tano only disarms him. You're absolutely correct, Maul steps forward and cuts him down.
posted by Atreides at 12:47 PM on March 31, 2016

Revised Inquisitors Downed Scorecard
  1. Grand Inquisitor - Kanan Jarrus
  2. Seventh Sister - Darth Maul (disarmed by Ezra Bridger)
  3. Fifth Brother - Darth Maul (disarmed by Ahsoka Tano)
  4. Eighth Brother - Kanan Jarrus (sorta - almost disarmed then falls to death)

Which when you look at it, Maul waited for others to do the hard work and simply followed through with the easy kill.
posted by Atreides at 12:50 PM on March 31, 2016 [1 favorite]

I like the grey area Jedi/Sith thing that the Clone Wars and Now Rebels team have introduced.

Before hand you were either Jedi or Sith, but now we have Ahsoka who is explicitly not a Jedi, rejected the Jedi path but is still good and Maul who is explicitly not Sith.
Plus of course the inquisitors who are not sith, but are certainly evil force users.

Although I prefered the grand inquisitor style, where by these were simply specialised imperial functionaries. I don't get that impression so much with the lesser inquisitors, although I do like the shared equipment and uniforms and so on.
I would like to see less scenery chewing EEeevillll, and more box ticking bureaucrat inquisitors, armed with lightsabre and clipboards. Because the crushing conformity was always the most interesting part of the Empire.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:06 AM on April 1, 2016

I mostly liked this episode but the helicopter lightsabers were incredibly stupid.
posted by Fleebnork at 5:51 AM on April 1, 2016 [2 favorites]

Speaking of incredibly stupid: The End of Star Wars Rebels Could Be Coming Sooner Than Anyone Expected.

I don't like the idea, and I don't think it makes a lot of sense to end it with series three.
posted by Mezentian at 8:19 AM on April 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

I like the hinting that Ezra might be going dark.

Rebels has done a lot to rehabilitate Vader back into the super scary villain he should be. They could also do a pretty decent turn to the dark side thing.
They've talked a lot about Sabine stepping up to be a more major character next season. Maybe because she's hunting down evil Ezra for some reason...
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:59 AM on April 1, 2016

I'm kind of surprised about the theory that we could be losing Rebels so soon, as it could be extremely fun to have a parallel telling of events in the Original Trilogy or simply filling in gaps between each of the three movies. A number of the new books released in the last year have done just this and have been very entertaining. My original assumption would be that the show would at least run right up to the beginning of A New Hope, but given that Rogue One will likely end days, if not hours before ANH, it makes some sense for Rogue One to be the stopping point.

With that said, I thought from Filoni's discussion in the io9 link above, it implied that the show could continue forward, but would simply start to conform more and more to the Star Wars galaxy we see in those two films. If we have met Lando and Leia, I would bet good money we will eventually see our other major players. It's just gonna happen.

My current theory is that we get more than just one additional season, but it will continue at least through the release of Episode VIII, if not Episode IX. Once the Sequel Trilogy is complete, they might then shut down Rebels and start a new show based either around the Sequel Trilogy events (which would work just as well as The Clone Wars did) or then something in the big gap we now have. The problem with the 'big gap' is that there's no major defining element to it. The New Republic establishes a peace between it and the First Order (or whatever the Imperial faction is after the Battle of Jakku), and then we have 30 years of build up from that moment to the events of The Force Awakens. Where's our framework for a new show in there?

There's nothing to serve as a lattice for this new show outside of creating completely new material, which would liberating, would represent something generally new to Star Wars animation and television. Filoni knows how it ends, but the path between there and now is still quite a bit vague. As we saw in this episode, where I had predicted there's a good chance of Ezra turning to the Dark Side - something that has been hinted at throughout this season, they slowed that down completely and now it appears that a whole season will be dedicated to it or at least a big chunk of it. I expect other character developments to take just as long - but they will seed them in a way that if the Disney executives say "kill it, move on to the next $$$ animation show!" they will have the ability to wrap it up with some degree of finesse.
posted by Atreides at 2:33 PM on April 1, 2016

If we have met Lando and Leia, I would bet good money we will eventually see our other major players. It's just gonna happen.

I hope not. Luke would be inappropriate, surely, until maybe the time of Star Wars (surely, if Hera's still alive she's involved in the assault on the Death Star, assuming they are a single cell), and Han in SW seems too distant to even consider smuggling for the rebellion (and, with Young Han Solo coming, would they really?).

But I fear you are correct.
posted by Mezentian at 4:07 AM on April 2, 2016

"Where's our framework for a new show in there?"

The fracturing empire and the rise of the first order? Along with the splitting off of the resistance from the republic as separate (at least politically) entities, and the why of that.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 7:41 AM on April 2, 2016

For those interested, I decided to write about why I believed Ahsoka Tano lived, instead of being killed by Vader, in the season finale.
posted by Atreides at 1:40 PM on April 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'm choosing to believe the sabercopters just acted as stabilizing gyroscopes and they were mostly flying with the Force. Maybe some kind of artificial stabilization like a big ol' gyro is necessary to kind of help lighten the mental load of making yourself fly with the Force, otherwise why wouldn't Force users fly, like, all the time with their telekinesis?
posted by jason_steakums at 11:22 PM on April 8, 2016

Maybe wishful thinking, but didn't we see Ahsoka walk into a dark tunnel in the end, just after Vader hobbled out of the smoke?
posted by vanar sena at 10:03 AM on April 11, 2016

Maybe some kind of artificial stabilization like a big ol' gyro is necessary to kind of help lighten the mental load of making yourself fly with the Force, otherwise why wouldn't Force users fly, like, all the time with their telekinesis?

That's kind of a slippery Superman slope, as he originally was only able to leap long distances (like the Jedi can). For the most part, we've actually very rarely seen total levitation from a Jedi, but there's little reason to think why it's not possible. If Yoda can lift an X-wing, why not himself? I like any idea, though, which reduces the level of physics one needs to apply to the sabercopters.

Maybe wishful thinking, but didn't we see Ahsoka walk into a dark tunnel in the end, just after Vader hobbled out of the smoke?

posted by Atreides at 1:39 PM on April 11, 2016

Ahsoka and Maul's reunion in this episode packs a lot of punch after the final arc of Clone Wars, that's for sure.

The Grand Inquisitor was a menace, the subsequent ones less so. But everybody looks like Team Rocket compared the terror that is Vader.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 7:42 PM on June 1, 2021

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